The role of parietal cortex in visuomotor control: what have we learned from neuroimaging?

Neuropsychologia. 2006;44(13):2668-84. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2005.11.003. Epub 2005 Dec 9.


Research from macaque neurophysiology and human neuropsychology has implicated the parietal cortex in the sensory control of action. Functional neuroimaging has been very valuable in localizing and characterizing specific regions of the human brain involved in visuomotor actions involving different effectors, such as the eyes, head, arms and hands. Here, we review the areas discovered by human neuroimaging, including the putative functional equivalents of the following macaque regions: parietal eye fields (PEF), ventral intraparietal (VIP) area, parietal reach region (PRR) and the anterior intraparietal (AIP) area. We discuss the challenges of studying realistic movements in the imaging environment, the lateralization of visuomotor function, caveats involved in proposing interspecies homologies and the limitations and future directions for neuroimaging studies of visuomotor control.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Mapping
  • Diagnostic Imaging*
  • Eye Movements / physiology*
  • Functional Laterality
  • Hand / innervation
  • Hand / physiology
  • Humans
  • Parietal Lobe / anatomy & histology*
  • Parietal Lobe / physiology*
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • Visual Pathways / anatomy & histology
  • Visual Pathways / physiology*